Old boys hope to face Norwich City

Aidy Boothroyd is considering a return of the 'Canaries Two' for Coventry's big promotion battle against his old club tomorrow.

The Sky Blues boss has major selection decisions to make – and Sammy Clingan and David Bell could be the men to solve them.

Both were part of the City side that slumped into League One in 2008-09 – Bell left in the January transfer window, five months before the end came, returning to the Midlands for personal reasons, while Clingan's protracted departure wasn't resolved until July.

Clingan has been out of action for the last five weeks after suffering a knee ligament injury against another former club, Nottingham Forest. But with midfielder Lee Carsley suspended, he comes back into the reckoning.

The Ulsterman's rehab has gone better than expected, but Boothroyd is likely to give him until matchday to prove his fitness.


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'He's certainly an option,' said Boothroyd. 'The plan was always to have him available for Palace, but he's been doing loads of straight-line running, checking and turning so he's actually well ahead of schedule.

'It would be a risk, but you've got to take risks sometimes so I'll have a chat with our fitness people and think about it.'

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If Boothroyd decides against the risk, he has other options.

'Aron Gunnarsson has played in there at international level,' he said, 'and I've got a lot of hope and faith in Conor Thomas.

'He's very young, but I'd have no problem about playing him because he's one of the best one and-two touch players of that age I've ever seen and, like Nathan Cameron, he's a good lad with an excellent temperament.

'I think he's going to be a huge player for us in the future.'

Carsley's ban has forced Boothroyd's hand, but a midfield shake-up was on the cards – which is where Bell comes into the equation.

The winger has been sidelined by a knee ligament injury since early November.

'Belly is back in full training and he is a massive talent for us,' said Boothroyd.

'I've always liked him as a player and he proved that in my first match in charge against Portsmouth when he was up against a Premiership quality full-back and turned in an outstanding performance – absolutely terrific.'

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